Black women and artists dominate 2022 Americana nominations

The diversity of the trio of superstar singer-songwriters leading the nominations for the 2022 Americana Honors & Awards was fitting for the setting of the nominations ceremony at the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville.

On Sunday, May 14, the AMA unveiled its top nominees for 2022 with three artists taking home three selections each: Brandi Carlile as Americana Awards Defending Artist of the Year, challengers Allison Russell, an evocative Canadian folk storyteller, and Yola, a boundary-breaker for the old school. The trio of women are each up for Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year.

Brandi Carlile

“Here I am traveling across the UK totally lost track of time and space and here I am with a whole host of @americanafest names!” Yola tweeted. “A big thank you to everyone who contributed to defend myself, Diamond Studded Shoes and kept me alive long enough to earn another AOTY name!!

Here I am traveling across the UK totally lost track of time and space and here I am with a whole host of names of @americanafest! Huge thanks to everyone who contributed to Stand For Myself, Diamond Studded Shoes and kept me alive long enough to earn another AOTY name!!

— Yola (@iamyola) May 16, 2022

Yola’s “Diamond Studded Shoes” are an old-school, American-style stomping and hipping hallmark of Ike and Tina Turner-era R&B burners. However, Yola’s new song will be fierce competition.

Allison Russell, a veteran folk singer and social activist, roars her roots pipes on “Persephone,” a symbolic story of painful, hidden love. And in “Right on Time”, Carlile presents a piano ballad that allows his emotive and soulful depth to shine through.

Singer-songwriter and activist Allison Russell
Allison Russell

Other multiple award-winning artists include blues singer-songwriter Adia Victoria, who is up for Emerging Act of the Year as well as Album of the Year for ‘A Southern Gothic’ . Victoria’s new album will take on “Raise the Roof” by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss reunited. The couple’s famous reunion also earned Plant and Krauss a Duo/Group of the Year nomination.

Racial and gender diversity emerging in contrast to the Americana genre’s longstanding reputation as a white male bastion was telling not just in the nominations, but at the Museum of African American Music in Nashville. WADA was happy to acknowledge that inclusion.

“We are thrilled to partner with the National Museum of African American Music as we unveil the nominees for this year’s Americana Awards,” AMA Executive Director Jed Hilly said in a statement. “Thank you to our hosts, Tanya and Michael Trotter from The War and Treaty, Fisk Jubilee Singers and Adia Victoria for making the event so special. Congratulations to all of the member-nominated nominees!”

The May fest preceded what will be another stellar fall show for the AMA Awards.

On Americana’s biggest night, the AMA will honor distinguished members of the American music community with six annual member-voted awards and Lifetime Achievement Awards. Winners in each category will be announced at Americana Honors & Awards on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The famous program is the flagship event of Americana Fest, which returns for its 22nd year from September 13-17.

For more than two decades, the prestigious ceremony has celebrated pioneering mainstays and pioneering newcomers alike, while featuring unforgettable moments in music history, including the final live performance of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, as well as spectacular appearances by kd lang, Van Morrison, Mavis Staples, the late John Prine with Bonnie Raitt, Gregg Allman, The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Alabama Shakes and many more.

Described by Emmylou Harris as “the shining star of Nashville and music everywhere”, the Americana Honors & Awards have been broadcast in recent years on CMT, Austin City Limits (on PBS), BBC2 and via SiriusXM Radio.

If you can make it to the show, tickets for the Americana Honors & Awards are on sale now.

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